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Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese art that involves the insertion of extremely fine filiform needles into specific areas of the body. Different variations of these needles have been traced back to as far as 3000 B.C. and the process is still used widely today.

Practitioners of acupuncture believe that there are different areas of the body that can be manipulated by the insertion of needles to help relieve many common conditions. These areas are specific points on lines that are said to guide a vital energy called ‘qi’ around our body. Even though these lines and point have never been identified in traditional western medicine or anatomy, the process of acupuncture is still widespread, with some hospitals in China using only acupuncture for medication.

Acupuncture can be used for a variety of serious medical conditions, including chronic and acute pain, headaches and heart problems. In total there are a number of different pathways, each of which have many points where needles are inserted. Currently there is much controversy about any actual effects gained from the use of acupuncture. Some studies suggest that the treatment is entirely down to the placebo effect, whereby knowing you are having some treatment makes you believe you will get better. Conversely however some studies seem to show a real benefit for it.

Acupuncture is widely available in the UK and even in some areas on the NHS. Even if some people don’t believe in its validity, if it helps you it can only be a good thing.